“My deep dark secret is that I’m Celiac. I have Celiac Disease, and I rarely ever tell anybody about it, especially when I go to eat at their restaurants, because I don’t want to be that guy that says I have a gluten allergy, because it’s such a popular false allergy now.
“I was diagnosed with it when I was 18 years old, when nobody was talking about it. I’ve been very fortunate to not get really sick; I don’t have it so bad to the point that if I do have a piece of bread that I’ll be violently ill. But then I had my appendix taken out about a year and a half ago, ‘cause it exploded one night – that was painful – and ever since my appendix was taken out, it is extremely painful if I have anything with gluten in it. And so now I’m forced to tell people I have this very serious gluten allergy.
“Still to this day sometimes I will not say anything. I’ll just go to the restaurant and I’ll eat, and I’ll pick around stuff, and I’ll eat as best as I can, and just take the pain for the day and then I’ll carry on.”
Interview and photo by Laurie Ulster